5 “Life Changing” Lessons from a WWII Survivor

The Hiding Place

(This letter is written to Corrie Ten Boom, author of The Hiding Place. She passed away in 1983, when I was just a year old, yet her legacy is a huge inspiration to me. I write this letter sincerely, thanking her for what she’s taught me!)

Dear Corrie,

I read your book a few weeks ago! I can’t believe it has taken me this long to actually read it! I have heard all about it from others though. Everyone I met encouraged me to read from its pages. They’d say there was something special about it, something that would make you want to jump up and be a better person. So when I found out that it was going to be our next book club read I was thrilled.

But I have to skip to the chase! I couldn’t put your book down! It pulled me along and before long, I felt that I was sitting at your dining room table as one of your friends. In fact, you are my friend and yet I haven’t even met you. That must sound pretty funny but your book was personal and inspiring. You’ve done more for me than you can ever comprehend. As I read, I was amazed that you ran an underground resistance against the Nazi’s during World War II, survived two prison camps and a concentration camp in Germany, and then dedicated your life to sharing your faith in Jesus Christ! Your faith carried you through the darkest of times and yet you always found a reason to thank God and trust in Him. He was your Hiding Place, and refuge from the storm! I hope to be half the woman that you are.

Your book taught me so many things…lessons I can’t and won’t ever forget!


1.You taught me to be thankful for fleas!

I don’t think I would have ever been thankful for bugs! But I can’t look at an insect now without the reminder to be thankful in all things. When you were faced with the most horrific of circumstances in the concentration camp, you were reminded that you can find gratitude in all things. In turn, those fleas became a great blessing to you…and now a great lesson for me!


2.You taught me to “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God”

I wish I had read this 3 years ago when I left family and friends and moved across country. So many times I asked why? But you showed me that He is all knowing of every human being that ever lived. He guides and directs the future as He has the past. You could have cursed God for being in prison, yet you used that time to serve Him and bless the lives of others’ with Hope!


3.You taught me to face fear with faith!

Stripped of clothes, naked, and covered in rags would have been mortifying for me. Yet in this situation, your thoughts were on how to save your Bible. There was no way to possibly do so. You prayed that God would provide a way and then simply hid your book and prepared to be searched. You got it through, miraculously. Fear can paralyze and yet you faced it with faith and conquered the odds!


4.You taught me to be Strong when facing adversity!

Would I have done what you did? I don’t know…I want to believe so. You loved all people regardless of who they were or what they believed. You led the resistance movement! I too want to believe that I would have a Hiding Place to protect anyone from injustice who comes my way. Even though you were faced with unthinkable punishments, that didn’t stop you from doing the right thing, something I most admire in you!


5.You taught me to shout from the rooftops!

You said “The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.” What have I done with my time? For that is truly what I can give of myself, my time! Your time after the war, was spent in teaching, sharing, uplifting, serving, and praising. As long as you lived you were driven with the passion to share that God loves all His Children. I will always be reminded to shout from the rooftops!

Corrie, I hope that I can someday thank you for living your life the way you did! You have left an imprint in my life forever, and for that I will be eternally grateful!


I would strongly encourage anyone to read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Click Here if you would like to check it out on our website! It is worth it!

This post first appeared on Real Imprints

Below is a personal interview with Corrie Ten Boom